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Shin Splints: Too Much Too Soon

ShinSplint_PinPost_2017

Shin splints typically occur below the knee either on the front outside part of the leg (anterior shin splints) or the inside of the leg (medial shin splints), and almost EVERY athlete has experienced them. They usually occur in beginning runners that increase their mileage too quickly or veteran runners, who add speed work, change of terrain or too much volume to their workout routines. Basically, shin splints are always caused by TOO MUCH TOO SOON.

The Causes

There can be a number of imbalances happening at once which make the cause of your shin splints hard to pinpoint, but here are a few of the main causes. Overpronation (a frequent cause of medial shin splints), inadequate stretching, old shoes or shoes that are not right for your body and foot type, excessive stress placed on one leg or one hip from running on cambered roads or always running in the same direction on a track, and the most common, doing too much too soon.

The Symptoms

It is hard to define what a shin splint is since there is no end-all consensus among sports scientists and doctors. Most believe they are small tears in the muscle that’s pulled off the bone, an inflammation of the thin sheath of tissue that wraps around the tibia, or shin bone, an inflammation of the muscle, or some combination of these. The most common symptom for shin splints is pain in the medial area (the inside of the shin) or anterior area (toward the outside of the leg). So while the experts can’t agree on what they are exactly, they do agree on how to treat them.

The Treatments

Sadly, most experts agree that you should stop running completely or decrease your training depending on the extent and duration of pain. Then during the acute phase, you need to ice your shin to reduce inflammation. The best method of icing is freezing water in Dixie cups and doing an ice massage on the area. After you bring the inflammation down, here are some other treatments to try:

1) Stretching: Stretch your Achilles if you have medial shin splints, and your calves if you have anterior shin splints. The best way to do this is to use the Pro-Stretch by Medi-Dyne. You can also gently stretch your shins by kneeling on a mat, legs and feet together and toes pointed directly back. Then slowly sit back onto your calves and heels. Push your ankles into the floor until you feel tension in the muscles of your shin. Hold for 10 to 12 seconds, relax and repeat 3-5 times. ShinSplints_TooMuchTooSoon-Pic1

2) Strengthen: In a standing position, balance on one leg and spell out the alphabet on the floor or in the air with your toes. Do this with each leg. Another great strength exercise is to alternate walking on your heels for 30 seconds with 30 seconds of regular walking. Repeat 4-5 times. These exercises are good for both recovery and prevention. Try to do them three times a day at least 3x a week.

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3) Compression: Compression binds the tendons up against the shaft of the shin to prevent stress. So if you continue running and reduce your volume, wrap your leg before you run. You can use either tape or an Ace bandage, starting just above the ankle and continuing to just below the knee. You can wear compression sleeves or compression socks too, my favorite are Cho-Pat Calf Compression Sleeve or the Shin Splint Compression Sleeve. Just make sure you keep wrapping your leg until the pain goes away, which usually takes three to six weeks.

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4) Cross-Train: Cross-Train for a while to let your shin heal. Swim, run in the pool, elliptical, strength train or ride a bike. When you return to running, increase your mileage slowly, no more than 10 percent weekly.

 

5) Proper Shoes: You need to wear the correct running shoes for your foot type. Go to your local running store and have an associate fit you. Typically,  overpronators should wear motion-control shoes. Severe overpronators may need orthotics. When you find a pair or two that are comfortable and work for your feet, make sure to buy two pairs and alternate wearing them to vary the stresses on your legs.

 

6) Terrain: Avoid hills and excessively hard surfaces until shin pain goes away completely, and then re-introduce them gradually to prevent a recurrence. If the roads you run on are cambered, run out and back on the same side of the road. Likewise, when running on a track, switch directions.

 

Luckily, shin splints can usually be dealt with quickly by looking at your training and your biomechanics. Just make sure you do more than just ice and take inflammation pills. You won’t prevent re-injury unless you find and fix the underlying cause.

 

MeghanKennihan-bio_pic About Meghan:

Meghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy   of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is   also experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com

Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.

 

* Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and rehabilitation.

10 Minute Back Pain Relief: CoreStretch

10 Minutes of Stretching a Day Can Take Back Pain Away!

3 easy stretches that cover the stretch the entire interconnective chain of the core, including the; Lower Back, Hamstrings, Hips, Glutes, IT Bands, and Lateral Arm Muscles.

For best results, be sure that your arms are fully extended (not bent at the elbow) and your back is straight (not curved). Correct posture will maximize your back elongation and stretch.  If the stretch on your shoulder is too intense, lower the position of the handle by one notch.

LOWER BACK and HAMSTRING STRETCHES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIPS (Piriformis), UPPER GLUTE and IT BAND (Illiotibial)

 

Advanced Lateral arm stretches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVANCED LATERAL

How Flexible Are You?

 Test your flexibility with the StretchRite.

How flexible are you? If you are a Coach, how flexible are your athletes?   What are you doing to increase your or your athlete’s flexibility?   Get the StretchRite advantage!

StretchRite is a device to help ensure that each athlete has the necessary flexibility to stay injury free during intense athletic competition. This device enables the athlete to do the type of stretching that normally requires a second person’s assistance.

Joe Dial, former World and American Record Holder for the Pole Vault, and Head Track Coach at Oral Roberts University says:

“Our Athletes are excited about stretching now that we are using the StretchRite program. Flexibility, strength, and leg turnover are keys to maximum performance.”

Read more reviews of the StretchRite at Running Supplement or medi-dyne.com.

TEAMS CURRENTLY USING StretchRite:

University of Arkansas
University of Arizona
University of Florida
University of Wisconsin
Kansas State University
Louisiana State University
University of Oregon
University of Kansas
Illinois State University
University of Nebraska
Oklahoma State University
University of Louisiana
Oral Roberts University
Texas Tech University
Texas A&M University
University of Texas
University of Wisconsin

Aches and Pains of a Beginner Biker

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Marathoner. Wannabe Triathlete.

The word beginner in the title is important, because that is what I am.   Of course I have ridden a bicycle almost my entire life, but not for very long stretches of time at a constant speed.   I have recently taken up more serious cycling, both to help improve my running and to allow me to possibly compete in some triathlons.    Quite frankly, I have really enjoyed the process of getting out and riding more.   There is something very therapeutic about riding a bike, in addition to some great exercise.    Based on some research, it also is supposed to enhance my running times.

What I didn’t fully expect when I started biking was that the muscles I used would be quite different than those I used while running or swimming.    After running the OKC Memorial Marathon, my quads were by far the sorest muscles post-race. Cue the need for biking, which helps to build up the quad muscles.  However, my quads weren’t the muscles that ached the most following my first long bike rides.    The muscles that ached the most were in my upper and lower back.  Big surprise?   Not really.   Being bent over handles bars for a couple of hours is sure to put a strain on your lower back and even my upper back, right between my shoulder blades.

The reoccurring back pain and lower back muscle tightness I experienced quickly brought on a need for some back stretches.   The good news here is that I have access to one of the premier back stretching devices available, the CoreStretch. The CoreStretch’s simple but unique design easily targeted the stiff areas including my upper and lower back.   There have been some great reviews from cyclists about the CoreStretch, but now I really get it.   Not only do I see the additional need for core strengthening when it comes to cycling, but also for core stretching as an integral part of biking.

There were a few stretches that really helped me get rid of my post-cycling back pain. These included; the crossed hands stretch and also the lower back/hamstring stretch.   Those two in particular seem to give me the most relief for the areas that take the most stress while I cycle.   My future biking plans will definitely include pre and post ride stretching with the CoreStretch to make sure I get the most out of each ride both physically and mentally!

For more information on the CoreStretch or for instructional videos or brochures visit www.medi-dyne.com.

A Success Story: Tuli’s Heel Cups

Dr. Murray Davidson was a podiatrist in Phoenix when his 13-year-old son, Jeff, came into his office complaining of sore heels. Dr. Davidson began by prescribing the customary forms of treatment; styrofoam pads, heel supports, various strappings, ultra sound and even whirlpool therapy but none of the traditional methods seemed to work. Dr. Davidson soon became frustrated and embarrassed that he could not find a solution to Jeff’s heel pain. Desperate to maintain the confidence of his son, he began looking at Jeff’s heel pain very differently.

Dr. Davidson acknowledged that Jeff’s heels needed to be protected from distress caused by every day walking and running. He understood that Jeff’s heels were absorbing a substantial amount of shock each time he stepped, just like the shock experienced from a shotgun recoiling. As a hunter Dr. Davidson knew shotguns well. For the first time he noticed the recoil pad on his shotgun—how it was long-lasting and durable, while protecting the body from shock. So he took some of the recoil pads and cut little cushions out for his son’s heels. To their surprise Jeff’s heel pain went away, immediately!

What a wonderful revelation! Jeff felt better and soon this news traveled throughout the Davidson’s community. Jeff’s friends began seeking assistance from Dr. Davidson’s office; everyone wanted these miraculous heel cups. Dr. Davidson found himself frequently working late into the night, hand making his innovative heel cups. This was not conducive to long work days at the office (or Jeff’s after-school sports schedule), so eventually Dr. Davidson contracted a mold maker and patented the product we know as Tuli’s.

Tuli’s heel cups might have come from a far-reaching idea, but the innovative structure of the product is still unmatched by any heel pain solution on the market. Tuli’s patented, multi-cell, multi-layer “waffle” design absorbs shock and returns impact energy just like the system naturally found in your feet. Upon impact, the waffle construction bears down and rotates with the normal motion of the foot to absorb the shock of walking and running; keeping your feet, knees, hips and back in alignment for maximum comfort and performance. The #1 Podiatrist recommended Tuli’s heel cup provides immediate relief from heel pain by cushioning the area of pain and elevating the heel bone to take pressure off of the Achilles tendon which lessens the tension and allows for a regaining of flexibility.

Race Day Reflections

Craig’s Corner: Reflections from my first marathon.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

Well, we did it. My wife, Courtney, and I successfully completed the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon this past April. We finished our first marathon.

First, I want to congratulate Oklahoma City on a wonderful marathon.   The race had excellent organization and communication, and the overall city-wide support was inspiring.   Not only was this our family’s first Marathon, but I also think it was so special because we were running to honor those 168 people who lost their lives in the OKC bombing. I’d like to give a special “Thank You” to all of those people who have selflessly rallied to help victims and their families.   The people of OKC have turned tragic hatred into a positive celebration of good and community.  They should be proud of that.

The 26.2 miles course was a nice course.   There was plenty of diversity and support along the way.  (Although, I do wish there were a few less hills…I thought OKC was flat!)   As I reflect on the marathon, I realize there are great parallels between life and running a marathon.

Here are my top 10 reflections;

  • Enjoy the journey. The journey of preparing for the race was just as rewarding, if not more, than the race itself.   Of course that is the story of life too isn’t it?   Don’t make the mistake of not enjoying and appreciating the journey.   It is the journey that prepares you and helps you to appreciate the ultimate destination, whether in life or in marathons.
  • Set goals, and see them through. To get the most out of life, it is best to have a goal and a plan to achieve it.  The same goes with running a marathon: have a plan, stick to it both in training and during the race.
  • The more the merrier! The more people you train and do the event with the more enjoyable the experience. Life is meant to be shared, that includes running marathons!  I am so grateful to my wife for training with me and running each step of the marathon with me.  The benefits of that are for another blog.
  • Be flexible, yet determined. You never know what life might throw at you, just like you never know what the marathon day might be like. Be prepared to run in any weather, and know ahead of time that you are running no matter what!
  • Stay hydrated. Water is a key element to our bodies.   During long runs and the race itself it is important to drink fluids…but as in life, be careful not to drink too much!
  • Early bird gets the worm. I think I said this one before but I will say it again, get to the race early.  Get warmed up and prepared, into the right “corral” and give yourself the time to enjoy the atmosphere!
  • Pace yourself. Life is not a sprint and neither is a marathon…at least not for common folk like me.  26.2 miles is truly a long distance to run.   Rely on your training and pace yourself!
  • Just do it, participate. There is so much to life and so many ways to enjoy it.  There are also many ways to enjoy running events besides running the whole 26.2.  There is the half marathon, the marathon relay, the 5K fun run and walk, and also volunteering to help support, cheer, or organize the race.  There is something for everyone at every level.
  • Stay Positive. Positive encouragement cannot be valued enough in life and in running. I really enjoyed reading the fun and encouraging signs of supporters along the race. One read, “Run total stranger, run!” Positivity is contagious. Don’t feel too shy to high five the cheering child, or wave at the supporting spectator along the way. Positivity can go both ways.
  • Overcome to succeed.  Running, like life, has its set-backs.  But just like life, there is always a new day just around the corner. Focusing on many of the following reflections (positivity, goals, flexibility, partners, the journey, etc.) are simple ways to overcome training or race-day set-backs.

There are certainly many more memories and reflections but those are my top 10.   There were some really funny and inspiring moments that I might have to write about later, but for now I hope you can use some of my reflections to get the most out of your next race.

Medi-Dyne Launches the “Weekly Buzz”

We are excited to announce that we will begin publishing stories, feedback, and reviews that have been contributed to us by Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products users.

This summer we set out to obtain knowledge on how medical professionals and athletes view and use Medi-Dyne products such as the new ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller. We sought feedback in the form of question and answer responses, photos, video or simply comments and quotes on how individuals felt and valued the products.  Needless to say we learned a lot.

A great thing about Medi-Dyne is that we are always looking for new ways to use our products; new rehabilitative exercises or even new poses that help reach different areas within an exercise, new ways to dynamically stretch or strengthen, and new situations or injuries that our products help rehabilitate or prevent.  We are pleased to present these responses in the hopes that you will find some benefit in learning how the ProStretch Plus, RangeRoller, and additional products are being used by other individuals and industry professionals.

Many of our contributors treat or have suffered from the following pain and injuries; Heel pain, Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Tight calves or calf pain, Shin splints, Tight hamstrings, or IT band syndrome.

Participants have used Medi-Dyne products to help rehabilitate a current injury, prevent pain and enhance performance, prepare for an event or training, etc. We are sincerely grateful for their contributions, and we look forward to sharing their stories and feedback with you.

If you would like to contribute a review, story, or feedback for our Weekly Buzz, please email connect@medi-dyne.com or visit medi-dyne.com for more information.

 

Welcome to Craig’s Corner

Welcome to Craig’s Corner: Running, Stretching, and Training Tips from Craig.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

We would like to introduce a new guest blogger, Craig DiGiovanni— Medi-Dyne’s own VP of Sales and Marketing. As an avid runner currently training for his first full Marathon, Craig wanted to share his training experiences with the Medi-Dyne community. Leave us a comment and tell us what you think, feel free to share with friends, and enjoy!

I’ve never considered myself a “blogger” so this is my first blog entry. My intent is to blog about the practical use of Medi-Dyne products as I use them for my own training.

Our products are born from many different backgrounds, but they all have one mission…to prevent pain, not only for the many medical professionals and professional athletes that use them, but for everyday people like you and me.

Craig DiGiovanni (left) demonstrating the benefits of ProStretch Plus to a Physical Therapist at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting in Chicago 2012.

I am a normal middle age guy, average height, average weight (although that is more and more a battle) and just about average everything else.  I have always been active but as middle age has crept up on me the need to be more disciplined not only in what I eat but how I exercise is becoming increasingly important.   We tend to focus on the obvious (weight & heart health) but the less obvious things seem to be what really catches up to you (energy levels and aches & pains).

My “exercise of choice” is running.  I really enjoy it.  My 2012 New Year’s resolution takes my running beyond exercise to something that I have always wanted to do – run a marathon.  Based on what I’ve learned so far (and the new aches and pains I’m experiencing) I’m sure that more than a few of my blog posts will be about my “running journey”.

Until then, thanks for your interest in our products and feel free to contact us at connect at medi-dyne.com with any input you have on our products, our blog or anything else we can do to help prevent pain in you and me.

Overcoming Plantar Fasciitis, An Inspiring Story

We were sent this testimonial from Arielle; runner, triathlete, and soon-to-be Ironwoman. She recently overcame 10-months of pain and suffering, due to ‘nagging’ Plantar Fasciitis, with some truly inspiring perseverance and what she calls “Medi-Dyne magic.”

“As a highly competitive gymnast growing up I periodically had heel pain, but nothing that I couldn’t remedy within a few days. Fast-forward about a decade later, and I found myself completely in love with long distance running. Ever since I took up the sport in the spring of 2009, I had experienced intermittent heel pain on and off again. In all of my athletic history my feet and ankles have always been my weak link, and I’ve run the gamut of injuries from stress fractures to dislocation to neuromas and so on…
Fast-forward one more time to March 2011, just 6 weeks before the Boston Marathon. I had been training for over a year to qualify and prepare for the race in Boston. After my
first 20 mile training run my foot completely seized up, and nothing would remedy the intense heel pain and feeling of strain that I was feeling in my foot. I stretched 3 times every day, used traditional methods—ice and massage, but nothing would alleviate my heel pain and get my arch to loosen up. I was forced to stop training up until race day, though  even after over a month off my feet, my Plantar Fasciitis was no better than that first day it came on.

I limped my way through the Boston Marathon and afterward my injury was no better or worse than before, so I took another couple of months off from running to try and get the inflammation to cease.  In the mean time, I found triathlons, which helped due to less running, but I was dissatisfied with the solution. I was recently gearing up for the Seattle Half Marathon in November of 2011, my first race since April. I was having a particularly painful week, feeling like I would never be uninjured again.

Training was going well but I still had nagging Plantar Fasciitis and foot pain, a sign of not good things to come (given that I’m racing in the Ironman Canada next summer). During an evening of injury-related depression I was surfing Twitter and saw someone post that Medi-Dyne would be sponsoring #runchat. I went to medi-dyne.com and clicked through to learn more about you guys. I instantly remembered seeing you in either Runner’s World or Triathlon magazine, and pulled the trigger to have my ProStretch Plus rush ordered. From all of the stretching I’ve done I understood immediately what sets the ProStretch Plus apart, and hoped it would truly be the device to save me!

My ProStretch Plus arrived just a couple days later, and after 1 day I saw a huge  improvement in my Plantar Fasciitis (both heel pain and arch tightness). After 3 days my  heel pain was gone, my arch tightness had subsided, and I was noticing less arthritis pain in the outside edge of my foot. After 7 days I was able to go off my arthritis medication and I haven’t had any heel pain since!!

The foot is so interdependent on all of its moving parts that inherently many of my injuries have stemmed from compensation for other injuries. Regular use of the ProStretch Plus has really gotten to the core for me to work through many of my foot injury issues. I  haven’t been in pain for a while (finally!!) I’m still seeing active improvement in my flexibility and stride while walking and running. And I love that the product is so easy to use; I keep mine in my kitchen so that I can use it between cooking and cleaning in an area where we all congregate. The ease of use makes it easy for me to remember and more likely to incorporate it into my routine.So happy to have found you guys an looking forward to more of your magic!” – Arielle

Thanks to Arielle for sharing that amazing story and the fun photos with us. You can follow Arrielle’s training on her blog, “On the Way to Ironman” at www.onthewaytoironman.wordpress.com.  We are looking forward to hearing about her success at the Ironman in Canada this summer.

If you have a story about your injury recovery that you would like to share with us, or if Medi-Dyne helped heal your pain please email connect@medi-dyne.com. Read what others are saying about the ProStretch Plus at medi-dyne.com or order your ProStretch Plus today.

It’s a Big (Small) World

It’s a Big (Small) World